Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
Everyone's been hearing about The Weather Underground for the last few months, thanks to a guy named William Ayers. It seems like a silly time to change your name to something else, but the Los Angeles band of the same name endured some pluses and minuses in their lineup over the summer and they aren't the same band that they used to be. It's why they're now Red Cortez, perhaps a perfect name for a leftist political group in the future, if such an organization is needed.
The music that this group makes is an odd mash of a multitude of things - including beat poetry, ragtag clothing, the fertile hope of equality, The Black Crowes, The Walkmen, peace marches and that audacity of human content that the new president-elect has been talking about and which has been a calling card since the 60s. Guaranteed that last night was an evening that the members of Red Cortez sat rapt as the numbers across the country were tallied and marked down as official. They may have had heaving chests as the senator from Illinois spoke. Yes, it was a proud day for the entire country and they appreciated this beautiful upheaval as much as anyone.
They are cut from a cloth that embraces the free-thinking spirit of 60s, via San Francisco and Woodstock. They tap into the liberating sense of possibility and scoff at any kinds of limitations imposed on the people of this country. They gravitate toward the melancholic dimension of the war - or any war - that's being waged and chronicle it with a new song about a wife continuing to receive letters from her soldier husband though he's already dead. She chooses to think of him still as a living person and the letters are all the indication she needs. Red Cortez tap into the souls of the folks they make up or relay to us, giving a warm display that feels like betterment.
Click here to visit Red Cortez's myspace page.